The Board of Directors for Island Moving Company (IMC), Newport’s contemporary ballet, announced today the appointment of Danielle Genest as the company’s next Artistic Director, starting September 1, 2022. 

Genest is IMC’s current Associate Artistic Director and will succeed founding Artistic  Director, Miki Ohlsen following her retirement at the end of the company’s 40th Anniversary Season in August 2022. 

IMC’s Executive Director, Peter Bramante, said in a statement, “Miki Ohlsen has created a world renowned dance company over these past 40 years and the Board of Directors set out  to identify the best possible successor to honor that legacy and further IMC’s  commitment to delivering transformative dance experiences and a world class dance  education program. They found that in Danielle Genest.” 

“Danielle’s strong artistic vision, her deep institutional knowledge and passion for IMC,  her desire to uphold the collaborative and inclusive culture of IMC, made Danielle  stand out as the ideal candidate,” says IMC Board President, Martha Parker in a statement. “Danielle’s  loyalty to IMC, her respect for the dancers and the larger IMC community all contribute  to her desire to honor the legacy Miki created while moving the company boldly  forward.”  

In a press release, IMC shares that Genest is an accomplished professional dancer and choreographer. Genest began her dance studies at Newport Academy of Ballet as a young dancer under the direction and mentorship of Miki Ohlsen. She continued her studies at Boston Ballet  School, Houston Ballet Academy, and North Carolina School of the Arts. At age 17, Ms.  Genest joined Hartford Ballet as a professional dancer and continued dancing professionally with New York Theatre Ballet and Island Moving Company.  

Ms. Genest was Co-founder and Associate Artistic Director of Janusphere Dance  Company as well as Co-Artistic Director of Part of the Oath. She served on the faculty of Ballet School New York, Providence Ballet, Spindle City Ballet’s Dance Academy, and  Newport Academy of Ballet.

Genest’s choreographic work has been commissioned by New York Theatre Ballet,  Tallahassee Ballet, Festival Ballet Providence, Island Moving Company, as well as several universities including Texas A&M and Salve Regina. Her work has been showcased at  Hartford Ballet’s Arts Exclusive, the Elan Awards in New York City, and the 10th  Internationales Ballet meeting in Austria. She has also twice been the recipient of a  Merit Award for the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Choreography. 

Upon learning of the board’s decision, Ms. Genest said, “I am thrilled at the honor of becoming Artistic Director of Island Moving Company and carrying on the incredible legacy that Miki has built. The company is at a pivotal moment in its existence as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary and await the advent of our new home, our Center for  Dance and Education. I am looking forward to working with our amazing dancers,  staff, board, and the entire community to bring IMC into the future.” 

Ms. Genest was appointed as Associate Artistic Director of Island Moving Company in  2017. She currently resides in Newport, Rhode Island, with her husband, Petar, and their sons, Niko and Rafael.  

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Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

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